Successful parenting on their minds: Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, in conversation with??participants??Stacey Bovell (left) and??Lynette Phoenix (right), while Tammi Browne-Bannister (at back) looks on.??
Government has allocated over $400,000 to run its National Parenting Support and Education Programme this financial year and training should begin in September.
This disclosure has come from Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who said 240 persons would be trained during the current financial year. She made the comments yesterday at the launch of the parent support programme, where the nine-week training-of-trainers component was started at Harrison College.
Dr. Byer Suckoo underscored the importance of the programme, which she said would offer a channel of hope to parents. ???This programme, while not a panacea, will certainly assist in the process of healing some of the ills and pains that parents are forced to deal with on a daily basis. I am mindful that there is never one right answer or solution to a given problem, since we are all unique, every family is also unique.
???However, problems are common to all persons and to families. Thus, it is only when we are prepared to make a commitment to share and to communicate our ideas and thoughts that it becomes possible to arrive at workable solutions,??? she stated.
Describing the programme as multi-faceted, the Minister explained that the participants would be exposed to five key modules, namely, Parenting, Coping and Managing, Finding Self, Seeking Help and Action Planning.
To ensure that the requisite training was offered, she pointed out that focus groups were held with key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Education and the Royal Barbados Police Force; and a small survey was conducted to ascertain areas that persons wished to have included.
Dr. Byer Suckoo noted that government was seeking to equip persons/parents with the necessary skills and knowledge to assist them in rearing healthy and confident children. She added that at the end of the training, participants would be better able to cope and manage conflict; and there should be marked improvements in inter-personal relationships arising from the interaction, not only within the home, but also within the communities, schools and workplaces.
While acknowledging the good work of those organisations which offer services to families, she said there was still a lot to be done. She stressed it was ???heart-wrenching??? to spend a few hours in Juvenile Court listening to teenagers. She continued: ???While we can appreciate that we will make mistakes when we are young, we should all be cognisant that some of these mistakes will unfortunately, permanently scar us. Our teens need advice.???
The Minister added that every effort would be made to offer the programme in communities and churches across the island to ensure accessibility. She explained that after the pilot, the programme would be modified to suit the time constraints of parents.